Despite my candid personality on this website, I’m actually quite a shy and timid person in real life around people I don’t know that well (Someone pretending they’re to be different on the internet? Say it ain’t so!). That’s one of the nice things about the internet, I can be the most outgoing version of myself because I have no idea who (if anyone) actually sees this.
But as someone who is naturally introverted, I really wish I was more outgoing. And it’s not a “grass is greener on the other side” thing either. I’m certain that people who are more outgoing lead much easier and happier lives. The problem with people like me is that we don’t communicate well, not because we choose not to, but because we just don’t. We don’t speak unless spoken to, nor do we just freely give information out to whoever asks.
So because of that, people assume things about us that are more than likely not true. For example…
4. People Assume There’s More to You Than There Really Is
There have been several occasions where people will assume that because I’m so quiet and mysterious, that I must be drowning in the poontang. Not true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Because I’m quiet (or because I use the term “poontang”), I’ve actually had a hard time with the ladies. As much as I wish I was a sort of quiet Ryan-Gosling-in-Driver sort of character where the ladies just flock to me, I am not.
It also means that people assume other ridiculous things, like I’m a stoner or I’ve murdered people in the past, and now I’m just some sort of quiet drifter that doesn’t talk to anyone. I’m really just like most everyone else, just quiet.
3. Starting Conversations Is a Nightmare
As an introvert, starting conversations with people is weird because we have to rationalize why we’re talking to this person. Of course needing information or goods/services isn’t a problem because we have an agenda. But small talk is almost entirely out of the question because it just feels weird.
And trying to talk to a girl is even worse. As an introvert, we already know that they know that we know that they know the real reason why we’re talking to them. And even if we have good intentions, we rationalize with ourselves that we’re only talking to them to see if we want to be with them forever or never see them again.
To an introvert, a highly unlikely negative outcome is enough of a deterrent to avoid conversation than one or more likely neutral or positive outcomes. And that sucks.
2. Being in a Large Crowd Is Worse Than Being By Yourself
When I was at ECU, I often went to basketball and baseball games by myself because they were free and I had nothing better to do. The problem is that if I went by myself, especially to basketball games, I would be surrounded my dozens, if not hundreds of other people, and that made me uncomfortable. Those feelings don’t exist when you’re at the game with a friend, however.
It’s comparable to being the third wheel on a date, except you’re now the 999th wheel. Everyone around you is conversing amongst themselves and you’re trapped in a bubble that feels like it’s shrinking until you feel like everyone is right on top of you. At this point it may not be because you’re introverted, you may actually have a legitimate disorder.
1. Sometimes Being Alone Feels Better Than Going Out
I don’t know how many times I made plans to go a game or event, but at the last minute simply ordered take out and spent the evening at home by myself catching up on TV. And as an introverted person, it’s not because we enjoy being alone, it’s because it’s less nerve-wracking to be by ourselves than to be around an indeterminate amount of people. Thus, spending an evening alone, though lonely and depressing as it may be, saves us the cognitive dissonance of being around people and trying to be social.
So if you know someone who is introverted, just know that they’re probably not weird. They’re just quiet and completely uncomfortable talking to you. Not because you’re scary or because they hate you, they just have no idea where to start.